Holland St & College Ave Mobility Improvements

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This year, the City will be resurfacing the roadways and sidewalks of Holland Street from Davis Square to Teele Square, and of College Avenue, from Davis Square to Power House Circle. This project presents an opportunity to reconsider the surface roadway configuration and pavement markings in line with the City’s transportation goals to promote sustainable, multi-modal transportation and improve traffic safety for all users.

This year, the City will be resurfacing the roadways and sidewalks of Holland Street from Davis Square to Teele Square, and of College Avenue, from Davis Square to Power House Circle. This project presents an opportunity to reconsider the surface roadway configuration and pavement markings in line with the City’s transportation goals to promote sustainable, multi-modal transportation and improve traffic safety for all users.


Please provide your feedback to the project team on the final design:

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I do not like that the bike lanes are so inconsistent in protection offered. I especially do not like that there are sections where they simply disappear. Why are there so many gaps?

Slaw about 1 month ago

Hello, I'm a Holland Street resident, and I received notice of construction beginning on the Holland Street portion of this project along with a flyer for Vision Zero Somerville. I'm very excited to see progress in the right direction, but ironically, I don't believe the project as planned is fully aligned with the ideals of Vision Zero.

Echoing other public comments have better described: Holland Street needs bidirectional bike lanes, full stop. Davis is a transit hub, and with bike connections to Cambridge Crossing and East Somerville opening up with the effectively bike-only Community Path extension opening later this year with the GLX, I'm expecting to see a lot more bike traffic in the area. Holland Street carries a lot of aggressive through traffic and cars tend to pick up a lot of speed coming down the hill from Teele Square. Even with the proposed traffic calmings, it will remain a high-stress biking environment.

I recognize that it's too late in the process for a full redesign, but frankly, I don't want to deal 3 months of construction noise for a project that precludes bidirectional bike infrastructure. The in-lane bus stops are immensely beneficial overall, but I'd like to see them implemented such that dedicated bike lanes could be added in the future with only paint changes. I'd also like to see the dedicated bike lane extended to Cameron Avenue to enable a low-stress connection to Mass Ave for bike commuters during peak hours. Thank you for your consideration.

Em from Holland Street 4 months ago

Hello, I live on Broadway and Paulina and would like to suggest improvements to bike safety and pedestrian road crossings along the segment of Holland that is undergoing improvements. Drivers frequently pose serious safety hazards to cyclists in this area, driving excessively close at fast speeds given the lack of a designated / protected bike lane. Thank you for your consideration.

Avah 7 months ago

Exiting Gorham or Thorndike onto Holland is dangerous due to limited visibility caused by bad angles, fences, and parked cars. The city should consider swapping the one-way directions of Gorham and Jay Streets - the MBTA bus stop at the end of Jay Street provides better visibility for exiting cars.

Both Holland and College should have protected bike lanes along the full length, on both sides. They are too high-traffic high-speed for bicycles to ride efficiently and comfortably in a car lane. Basic bike lanes are better than nothing, but are still dangerous. I've been hit by a car door opening into a bike lane and knocked off my bike into the adjacent car lane; if there had been a car behind me, I might have been killed. It seems like parking constraints are the only obstacle to achieving optimal safety on these streets. The city should take more aggressive action to use or make more off-street parking. Options include getting more residents to sign up for car sharing services (e.g. by dedicating street spots to shared vehicles); getting residents to park more often in driveways (e.g. by offering discounts on annual parking passes for occasional use); contracting for public use of existing privately-owned lots; or building multi-level parking on building roofs or basements, or on surface lots. Only a small number of spaces are needed, and if bike infrastructure approaches the quality of Amsterdam or Copenhagen, bikes will have closer to 50% vehicle mode share and far less car parking will be required.

beland 8 months ago

Pave College Ave and Holland St! They were supposed to be repaved in 2019, then 2020, then "Spring 2021", now it's late summer, and both roads have yet to be repaved. The condition is atrocious, and cycling on either road is downright dangerous due to the city's complete and longstanding total neglect of the pavement. Why does it take an act of congress to pave a road in this city?

Fred about 1 year ago

I echo many of the comments that ask for better protected bike infrastructure, rather than providing valuable space on these important bike/bus/ped/wheelchair/other travel routes for safe travel, especially to vulnerable road users. Instead, it gives too much priority to parked cars.
I suggest that drop-off and metered spots be provided on side streets, as is being done in Cambridge's new protected bike lanes on Mass Ave and elsewhere.
People have continually said that they don't want to drive; rather, they say they would love to bike if it were safer or take transit if it were more reliable. This is Somerville's opportunity to enable people to be able to use those greener options.
PS Please do not build bumpouts at intersections that will preclude future bike lanes. There are other options!

Elm St. Mother over 1 year ago

Please focus on improving the community path connection. It’s horrible and traffic will be increasing in just one year.

Petru sofio over 1 year ago

Please do not reduce parking in an area that already has so little...

jwreilly23 over 1 year ago

This plan overall looks great to me and my family (Davis Sq. residents). The increased in protected bike lanes is a big win for our family, which includes young bikers. It seems like a small amount of parking is being removed, but perhaps adding another level to parking lots could offset this (the lot behind CSV?!!?). The crosswalks will also be a huge improvement.

rahulb over 1 year ago

I'm writing in to support continuous protected bike lane. My primary modes of transportation in this area and the fastest, most convenient modes for me are on bicycled, then on foot, or public transit. Please prioritize the safety of all mobility users, not just space for people to drive and for people to park cars. To improve everyone's safety and improve mobility, I think it's fine to remove some parking spaces.

RainyRunner over 1 year ago

I wanted to write in support of a continuous protected bike lane on both Holland and College avenue. Or at least a continuous bike lane, protected at either end. Having a bike lane that comes and goes is confusing, and challenging, and confusing leads to accidents. Beacon street has this same kind of chaos, where the bike lane changes every other block. Personally I'm quite comfortable biking around cars, but jumping in and out of traffic is scary every time. The fact that there is no bike lane between Morrison and Hall going out of Davis Square is particularly troubling, because that's right where you have to go up hill.
The presentation clearly states that there is currently unused parking, and people that do drive would rather bike, but don't because it's not currently safe; combine that with Somervision, Vision Zero and Somerville Climate Forward, and it's clear that the design should be looking forward to increase bus, bike and foot traffic, and cut back on parking

scottD over 1 year ago


I wasn't able to make the meeting tonight but I wanted to write in support of a continuous protected bike lane. In general in Somerville/Cambridge/Boston the protected bike lanes are too spotty. A block here and there of protected bike lanes is better than nothing but the long term vision should be a continuous protected bike lane network. Without that, biking won't be safe and bikers will continue to be killed. If a couple parking spots have to be removed, that's fine with me. If you make biking a more attractive option, then gradually people will switch away from driving. In Paris and Amsterdam they moved aggressively to promote biking and it's been a big success. But people won't ever bike in large numbers until it's safe.

DavidWHattis over 1 year ago

I don't like the peak bus/bike lanes - I don't trust cars to know what time it is. Make them 24/7 bike/bus lanes.

I don't think bump outs are a good longer-term idea based on how they've screwed up the bike lanes on Powderhouse Blvd. Once they're installed you can't put a bike lane all the way to side of the road.

I'd be happy with removing all parking along one side of Holland in order to put in bike lanes from Davis to Teele.

voter over 1 year ago

This is certainly change in the right direction. I love the traffic calming features. But this final plan still does too much to prioritize personal vehicles over pedestrians, cyclists, and bus riders. This is a very dense area and the bike lane should be fully protected along the entire route. Instead of a compromise that accommodates existing cyclists in Somerville to some extent without inconveniencing drivers of personal cars, we should think about how many more people would ride if our streets felt safer. If a child or an elderly person would not feel comfortable riding a bike on these roads, it's not safe enough.

Michael over 1 year ago

Reviewing the final design, I'm really discouraged by the way the city has ignored so much community input asking for safety along this corridor. This plan is still prioritizing car and truck throughput and parking. Why did you ask for our input? This whole process has been really frustrating.

sgalaitsi over 1 year ago

Thank you for all the work in trying to integrate the concerns of cyclists, pedestrians and car drivers in the Davis Sq area. I live on Walker Street, and have lived here for 12 years, and regularly walk down College Ave and Holland to reach the square for shopping, transit, or for a leisurely walk in the neighborhood. I have two main comments-- I support stronger traffic calming measures along College Avenue and for the creation of an uninterrupted and protected bike lane along College Ave and Holland.

I would love to see greater traffic calming measures along College Avenue. I was once nearly hit by a car turning into Chapel Street (I believe it was) from College Avenue. The car had stopped within a foot of me as I was crossing the street--I was in the middle of crossing, having stepped off the sidewalk before the car turned in. Cars also stop infrequently for pedestrians when I cross College Ave from one side of the street to the other along the cross walk near William Street.

I am also a mother to two young boys, one of whom is learning to ride a two wheel bicycle and traveling the neighborhoods on it. I would love for him to grow up in a space that encourages alternative modes of transportation to cars, where there is safe and clear access for him to move through the major through roads of his neighborhood without worrying about competing with car drivers or inattentive drivers of parked cars. I would love for him to grow up in a neighborhood that is safe for both walking and biking. To have safer streets in our neighborhood, I believe it is essential for the roads to be *shared* roads where car drivers begin to drive with the understanding that they are just one mode of transit in a densely lived neighborhood. To have this, I think it important to create protected bike lanes instead of paint-markers (of bike images) that encourage sharing but does not always happen or to have timed/temporary lanes for sharing. I think College Aveune is wide enough to accommodate a protected lane on at least one side of the avenue if not both. I realize it reduces parking, but I think this is a worthwhile sacrifice in the long run.

I also agree with the comments about creating a safer pedestrian way at the intersection of Holland and Winter Street-- often, the cars merging onto Holland come out too far into the crosswalk path and makes it feel unsafe.

thanks very much for your attention.

lyyu over 1 year ago

While the project does increase bike infrastructure, I would say that it still misses the mark. Too much of the added bike lane runs along side temporary or permanent parking which both pushes cyclists further into the traffic lane and increases the chances of getting doored by a parked car. Neither of these are likely to encourage new cyclists in an area that really wants to be more ped / cyclist friendly. Please take another pass at this with more priority given to cyclists than motorists. Thank you.

SamK over 1 year ago

Overall, a great effort working to accommodate so many uses of this ROW! A few thoughts:
- Love the # of ped crossing improvements but you're missing one: the pedestrian/bike crossing between the plaza and College Ave headhouse is always busy. It would be great to improve the crossing there for pedestrians, as well as carve out some additional accommodations for people who are trying to wheel from one section of the community path to the other.
- There needs to be better all ages and abilities connectivity for cyclists between Teele <> Davis and Powderhouse <> Davis, and this plan doesn't do the trick. I actually think the prioritization of these two ROWs in this final design is legitimate, however there should be low-stress alternatives for cyclists called out via wayfinding and calming. I would look to the Neighborways network in Central Somerville (alt to Highland) or the wayfinding between Inman and Central Sq in Cambridge (alt to Prospect & Columbia Sts.) as good precedents.

Thanks as always for your great work!

Somervoice235! over 1 year ago

The proposed improved pedestrian crossings, protected bike lanes, and bus lanes are excellent. I am very concerned about the "bike lane + parking" areas. As a pedestrian, car driver, and cyclist living in Somerville I ask: Why is the city prioritizing parking of a couple of cars over the lives of cyclists? Dooring is a very dangerous and common occurrence enabled by bike lane + parking areas. Davis square is a vibrant community center, and is thus more distracting to drivers who might forget to look before opening their door. It makes sense to prioritize cars and trucks on Rte 93, why are we doing it in a square filled with small businesses? I hope the plan will be amended to make all bike lanes protected, except when necessary to allow for disabled parking.

BeckyK over 1 year ago


Jumping onto this during my work hours because it is of absolute top importance: the community has spoken CLEARLY to show you that WE PREFER PROTECTED BICYCLE INFRASTRUCTURE. Please listen to us. I understand that there may be some pressure from car owners every time you remove parking spots, but please have faith that most people in the area are very emphatically behind you and have your back when you choose a future with fewer cars !

Your current proposed design gives far too much weight to these few car owners. Davis Sq. is a major transit hub and the future vision that a very great many of us share is one in which bikes and buses are afforded substantial preference on the roads. Please, on our behalf, make the choice that helps to realize this vision.

Juliana over 1 year ago
Page last updated: 28 Jul 2022, 01:28 PM